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Industry Events

Cracking The Content Creation Code

Christina Steiner, Director of Marketing

September 26, 2022

As a sponsor of the AMA Atlanta’s Innovation Marketing events, we at Hothouse are involved in planning and executing some truly informative events designed to give Atlanta marketers the opportunity to network and stay abreast of best and current practices in marketing. Last week we attended Cracking the Content Creation Code, and heard storytellers from IHG, FOCUS Brands and AT&T tell their very different approaches to content creation as they deconstructed the process and strategy behind some of their favorite work. Here are 3 key takeaways from the event, moderated by marketing, media and content expert Scot Safon.

Authenticity is key

Liz Crisafi, IHG Hotels & Resorts’ Global Vice President, Campaign Marketing, says every brand has its own story to tell. And she should know – Liz manages 17 brands under the IHG Hotels & Resorts Masterbrand. Using Holiday Inn Express as a case study, she showed how powerful (and often hilarious) storytelling through their own customer’s experience can be. “The best content is when you find that insight and that message that resonates with the brand, and then your customers tell your story in their own and authentic way, where it continues to come to life.”

Imperfect is in

Creating content for social media on a daily basis can be relentless. Bari Rosenstein, Social Media Manager for Auntie Anne’s and Jamba at FOCUS Brands, is a social media powerhouse, posting 175-200 times a month per brand. What was her advice? First, “ask yourself every day why people are following your brand and use the answer to that question as your north star to create relevant and impactful content”. For Auntie Anne’s followers, it’s all about the pretzels. As she walked us through a dizzying array of social posts on multiple platforms, she said “just SEND it! You can always delete it if needed – learn from it and move on. It doesn’t have to be perfect.”

Don’t forget about the “why

Rachel Jenkins, Social Media Senior Strategy Manager at AT&T is focused on the power of storytelling. As a strategist with a focus on DE&I and on sponsorships, Rachel creates content promoting Untold Stories, a multi-year alliance with the Tribeca Festival which awards $1 million dollars, mentorship and distribution support to systemically underrepresented filmmakers to produce their films.

In creating content around this initiative, Rachel felt pressure to focus solely on promoting the live stream of the program itself but took a step back and asked herself why. Why not focus on the finalists and tell their stories? From a brand perspective, why is AT&T doing this? “Sometimes we get so focused on the output that we tend to lose sight of the why” said Rachel. Content should be meaningful, impactful and tie back to the brand. By putting people first and telling the authentic stories of the finalists, she was able to connect with a diverse audience with whom those stories would resonate. From a brand perspective, the content served as a reminder of why AT&T, a company centered around communication and connecting people, is a part of the program.

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